Why Harry Styles Should Induct Stevie Nicks Into the Rock Hall
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced earlier this week who would be inducting the class of 2019.
The choices are rather on the nose: Queen's Brian May is inducting Def Leppard; David Byrne will be doing the honors for Radiohead; Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor is ushering in the Cure; Susanna Hoffs is inducting the Zombies; and Janelle Monae is set to fete Janet Jackson. (The Rock Hall also officially confirmed the news that Duran Duran's Simon Le Bon and John Taylor were going to induct Roxy Music.)
One choice may have seemed like a head-scratcher: Pop star Harry Styles -- who cut his teeth in the British boy band One Direction -- was chosen to induct Stevie Nicks. However, having Styles do the honors for the shawl queen actually makes perfect sense.
For starters, the musicians' career trajectories are similar. Much like Nicks launching a Hall of Fame-worthy solo career in the early '80s after a very successful run with Fleetwood Mac, Styles too made the leap from successful band to thriving solo career; in fact, he headlines arenas in the U.S. ... just like Nicks.
As a solo artist, Styles has also taken great pains to carve out a path unique from the one taken by One Direction -- much in the way Nicks' solo work is distinct from her Fleetwood Mac music. Styles' 2017 self-titled solo debut drew comparisons to a variety of '70s rockers -- including Badfinger, Elton John and the Rolling Stones -- in the way it included soft-glow piano-pop, flashy electric guitar and power-pop-leaning acoustic riffs.
"I’m so happy Harry made a rock 'n' roll record — he could have made a pop record and that would have been the easy way for him," Nicks told Rolling Stone in a recent interview. "But I guess he decided he wanted to be born in 1948 too — he made a record that was more like 1975."
Watch Harry Styles Perform Fleetwood Mac's 'The Chain'
Perhaps even more important, Styles is a massive Nicks fan and is reverential toward all eras of her music. He covered Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain" during a live session in September 2017, and one-upped himself and covered the song with the entire band at the 2018 MusiCares concert honoring the group for charity work.
During a May 2017 show at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, Styles even collaborated with Nicks on several songs.
Watch Harry Styles and Stevie Nicks Perform Together
Calling her the "queen of anything,” he said, by way of introduction, “I’m pretty sure that this was going to be up there with one of the best nights of my life. If there was any doubt, I’m pretty sure I’d like to confirm, in my entire life, I never thought I’d be able to say this. Please welcome to the stage, Stevie Nicks.”
The duo sang together on a Styles solo song ("Two Ghosts") before digging into Fleetwood Mac's catalog with a heartfelt “Landslide.” Perhaps best of all, Styles and Nicks also tackled her 1982 solo Top 10 hit “Leather and Lace.” Styles, naturally, took the vocal parts originally sung by Don Henley -- and did an admirable job capturing the song's soulful, longing vibe.
As it turns out, the admiration between the musicians is a two-way street, which should make the Rock Hall inductions a jubilant time. "[Styles is] Mick [Fleetwood]’s and my love child," Nicks told Rolling Stone. "When Harry came into our lives, I said, 'Oh my God, this is the son I never had.' So I adopted him. I love Harry."